Here’s a pic of me drinking a cocktail called “The Magnificent MILF”.
My ordering of this cocktail proves that I am at peace with being evidently old enough to qualify as being a ‘mum’, but also not entirely over the idea of others considering me eligible for a bit of the ‘f’.
As I sucked from that straw like a teenager, I was transported back to being a young teenager. Back to a time when the idea of homosexuals made me feel queasy, when I believed Nelson Mandela was a terrorist and Margaret Thatcher was our country’s saviour.
Ah, the ignorance of youth…
I was brought up in a village in Warwickshire where nobody was gay. Ever. Not even a teeny bit. Honestly.
When our school performed a concert at which we sang the South African national anthem, parents complained that we were supporting terrorism. Everybody believed Thatcher was the remedy for all that ghastly union business.
Then I grew up and met gay people. I watched Mandela be freed and worshipped. I lived with the fall-out from Thatcher’s policies.
I realised the world was more complex than I’d imagined and felt ashamed about my youthful ignorance. So ashamed that instead of broadening my perspective, I quickly just swapped one black-and-white set of principles for another.
I was militant about racism, socialism, feminism. At university I used to march into all-girls halls of residence and yell at them to CALL YOURSELVES FEMINISTS OR STOP CALLING YOURSELVES WOMEN!
I went to the National Union of Students conferences and stayed up all night in hotel bars yelling at other students that IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN SOCIALISM YOU SHOULD GET THE FUCK OUTTA THE UNION!
When my sister got a cleaner I told her she was propping up a degrading service-class system.
When my Uncle told me he voted Conservative I promised him we would never speak again. (He was probs delighted).
Yes, I was an arsehole. But I was young. Politics was just ‘ideas’ not real life yet. I wanted everything to be fixed. I was angry with all the grown-ups. Then I became one.
I stopped being sure. I realised nobody knew what to do, least of all politicians. There were no grown-ups in charge. People were selfish and stupid and also caring and clever. It was complicated. And it was very, very real.
But as I sit here today, in all my 43-yr old Magnificent MILFness, on the eve of this most potentially dangerous election of my lifetime, the issues at stake are clearer and more relevant to me than they have ever been.
Perhaps you remain confused. Or perhaps like many of my friends, you say you’re ‘not into politics’ to which my only reply is, lucky you. You must be living some kind of gilded and protected life where all you care about and all you love will always thrive, untouched by the decisions of the state. The only UK citizens I can think of who are truly in this situation are the Royal Family and their rich mates.
There Princess Kate was the other week, fluffing her sister’s expensive wedding gown and sending her off for a smashing luxurious honeymoon. I don’t begrudge Pippa the luxury. I wish I had a bit of it. But I’m always struck by the silence of the ‘anyway-rich’ when it comes to politics. Imagine the joy of Pippa radically NOT having the predictable lavish wedding, but something a bit more humble. Imagine her then tweeting her love for the NHS. Or supporting state schools. But there’s no need for her to be ‘into politics’ because her life is protected and cushioned by dosh. Her children will never attend state schools or NHS hospitals, at least not once the Tories have finally privatised A&E.
My life is fortunate but not cushioned so I kinda gotta care about things. Because I’m not a political tactician, don’t work for MI5 and don’t sell arms to Saudi Arabia, all I can do is look around me and decide if the suffering I see is: a) politically enabled and b) can be politically relieved. And then vote for the people I believe will try to relieve the most suffering. Not because I’m a ‘good’ person, or especially worthy, but because I am affected, every moment of every day, by the decisions made in government.
So, scores on the doors, who am I voting for?
The fella with the beard and the dodgy, militant past that’s even worse than mine. The fella who speaks like he spends time with other actual humans and some of them might be Muslims or *gasp* GAY. The fella who admits that his ideas are expensive but asks us what kind of society we want to live in. The fella who knows there absolutely IS a money tree and it’s all a question of who you think will preserve it best, help it to grow and know which leaves to pick off and give to which people. The fella who is far from perfect, but offers hope and change and knows when to send a clearly poorly co-worker home on extended sick-leave.
Everyone seems to think the oldies will vote Tory and the youth will vote Labour. The rich will vote Tory and the poor will vote Labour. The immigrants will vote Labour and the racists will vote UKIP. The unsure will vote Lib Dem and the properly clever and lovely people of this country will vote Green (whose time will surely come).
My fellow MILFs, I truly believe this election is in OUR ageing but still sexy hands. Tomorrow let us bunk off work and feed the kids fish fingers (again) so that we can dedicate our astonishing minds to the business of running this goddamn country properly.
Then let’s get sozzled on Magnificent Milf’s as we watch the pound signs fall from Treeza’s beady eyes…
We are magnificent. And we can turn this shizzle around.